Penalties for a Child Molestation Conviction

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Depending on his or her location a defendant could face a wide range of penalties for a child molestation conviction. In almost every state child molestation is a felony offense. There are different levels or degrees of child molestation, which will be dependent upon the particular circumstances of each individual case.

General Definition of Child Molestation

Child molestation can include a range of sexual abuses depending on the particular state’s wording of the statute. There will be degrees of child molestation based on the defendants’ behavior. The more egregious the conduct the more severe the penalty, also the severity of the punishment will also very according to the age of the minor child at the time of the offense.

Generally child molestation is when an individual commits any immoral or indecent sexual act in the presence of a minor child or with a minor child with the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desires of said minor child or said individual.  Some states will also include the following definitions- inappropriate physical contact for the purpose of sexual stimulation of minor child

Penalties for a Child Molestation Conviction

If a defendant is convicted of child molestation he or she will face severe criminal penalties.  Child molestation carries a felony conviction the minimum prison sentence in almost every state will be five years.  The maximum sentence will depend on the state’s felony classifications.  In some states the maximum penalty can be as high as 99 years in prison for the first offense.  Along with prison time, defendants will be required to pay a fine. Fine amounts can range from $5000  to well over $50,000 depending on the sentencing jurisdiction.  Along with the prison time and the fine, all sex offenders are now required to register with the federal sex offender registry for life.   Depending on the defendant’s state of residence there could be additional penalties including community service and psychiatric counseling.

Seeking Legal Help

Whenever a person is charged with a crime, their first step should be to seek the expert advice of an attorney. In the event that you are seeking advice on whether or not to file child molestation charges speaking about your case with an attorney is the best way to determine your rights and ability to bring criminal charges.  If you’ve been wrongfully charged with child molestation, only an attorney licensed to practice law within your state can assist you in defending against the charges.